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Violent Solar Storm Headed Towards Earth

Friday, December 15, 2006

A violent explosion in the Sun's atmosphere is bombarding the Earth at over 1 M km/h, which will cause a brilliant light show while threatening to damage power grids and communications systems.

Images from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory showed a bright flash near the Sun's equator overnight. Several of SOHO's sensors became temporarily overwhelmed by the amount of radiation emitted by the flares.

On December 13, a solar flare from sunspot 930 has sent a giant coronal mass ejection directly toward Earth. The X-Class flare was classified as one of the larger outbursts from the sun.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued an advisory reporting a geomagnetic storm in progress that has produced strong radiation blackouts. Strong to severe geomagnetic storming is expected through Friday. The advisory warns of potential disruptions over the next four days. The astronauts on the space shuttle will be safe from the sun's cloud of gas, NOAA said.

The danger from such strong solar flares is that they send out clouds of charged particles that could damage communication systems and power grids.

Nevertheless this solar flare will cause the so-called Northern Lights, which are a tremendous lights show.



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